Sunday, October 31, 2004

A poem for a rainy night. Posted by Hello

Friday, October 29, 2004

Possible books for my next class's research project

Changed my subject. The previous list was not used.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Cosmic Siren Posted by Hello

Last assignment for Adulthood and Aging Class

5. What are some of the issues regarding work and retirement in late life, and how do older adults handle time and money?

They have to decide what to do with their later years. Do they want to keep working? Can they still work? Can they afford to retire? Should they start another career? Work for short periods of time and live a retirement lifestyle between several jobs? Enter full-time retirement spent in leisurely pursuits, with family or actively engaged in charity or other social calling? And some adults semi-retire by working the same job, but with less hours and divvy their time up in a more balanced manner between work, family and society.

Most will have fixed incomes, which will require financial planning on their part. If an elderly person's income dips into poverty, it is almost impossible to rise it again. This is probably why some people choose to "age in place" - stay where they are because their homes are paid for and they can predict their expenses easier. Others may not have this option due to health or finances. Some will move to be closer to family, especially if they choose a family focused life-style. Some may have to move to some sort of facility because of their health or their neighborhood has changed so much that they need to have more people their age around for social support.

[I think my next class is Families in Crisis.]

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Gave my resignation today

Handed it to the receptionist. Hopefully HR has read it by now. No matter what -

I'm Free!!!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Obligatory Political Post

I am seriously considering writing a post next Monday on why the US won't become a fascist state no matter who wins next Tuesday.

I'm getting tired of hearing how the world is going to end or that we're going to find ourselves back in the dark ages if this candidate or that candidate wins.

Let's see. Our country has survived:

- a civil war
- a Great Depression
- FDR and the New Deal (where the Pres overrode Congress and a lot of his stuff was overruled by the Supreme Court later)
- McCartyism
- Richard Nixon
- Andrew Jackson
- Puppet Pres. Grant
- 2 World Wars
- The Korean War
- Vietnam
- 9/11
- the Sexual Revolution
- the "Great Awakening" of the early 1800s
- Civil Disobedience
- the Cold War
- Women's Sufferage
- the Temperance Act

And yet we never totally derailed our constitution-based federal republic with strong democratic tradition. Not even when Regan was president and he was popular with most of the populace. How can we possibly become a fascist state when the voters are almost evenly split between the two parties?

It can't happen. For a fascist government to occur, one side must be more powerful than the other. We don't have that here.

Whoever wins - wins. I will neither celebrate nor will I bemoan and rail against the fates because of the outcome. George Washington wanted the election of presidents to happen in a civil and mature way. I plan to honor that.

The summary on why do some women stay with men who abuse them..

  • They cannot admit to themselves what is happening to them.
  • Some have low self-esteem and feel that they deserve to be beaten.
  • Constant emotional and mental abuse may destroy their self-confidence and overwhelm them with self-doubt.
  • Some minimize the extent of the abuse.
  • Some hold themselves responsible for not being a good enough spouse.
  • Some feel it is a private issue that should be resolved within the family.
  • Some have been so isolated that they feel they have nowhere to turn.
  • Sometimes the risks of acting against an abusive partner outweighs the benefits.
  • Some are afraid to leave - for very good reasons, since some abusive husbands later track down and kill their estranged wives.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Only because the results will amuse Mexigogue

You are a Square. What a weirdo.

What kind of Sixties Person are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thoughts on last week's aging class

According to my prof, who also works in a hospice, and Naomi File, the author of Validation Therapy, many older people dealing with dementia get stuck on unresolved traumatic events from their lives. Not all of them, but a large percentage do. After hearing my prof's personal experiences and some of Naomi File's stories, I had the following epiphany:

It's better to resolve your inner conflicts before you get old, so you can enjoy a peaceful dementia - instead of scaring your family and care givers with your buried demons.

After all, what would you rather have - being strapped down to a bed and sedated OR being able to sit in a rocking chair and talk to the butterflies all day?

Adult Lifespan Journal Entry #5

I am not going to post it on here.

Basically, it's a self evaluation of strengths and short comings in certain areas and then making short term and long term goals in the same areas.

In summary, my professional and academic goals are intently being worked on. My personal and social goals are being neglected. And my spiritual goals are going as well as can be expected at the moment.

See. That's all you need to know. No point in boring you with details.

I might go ahead and repost some of my course work from earlier classes on here. Come to think of it, I do have something on why women stay with abusive men. I'll post it tomorrow.

Fixed the comments

Now not only can anyone comment, but I will get email notification. Hopefully I won't get found by spambots anytime soon.

Adulthood age ranges

Thought I should post this to make things clearer:

Young Adulthood 20 - 40
Middle Adulthood 40 - 60
Late Adulthood 60+

Now I am going to sleep. The last entry I have to do in the Lifespan Journal is in a different format and I'll need to shift gears.

Adult Lifespan Journal Entry #4

Late Adulthood

The following is of course, all projection of what I think my late adulthood psychological development will be like. I figure I will be widowed some time during this time, if not sooner - assuming of course, I do manage to remarry during middle adulthood. I hope I will be able to take care of myself and be able to visit with my family and continue writing things to be published. (Assuming I do manage to get published, of course.) I don't need to be rich, but I do hope I will have enough to take care of my own needs and to buy gifts for people occasionally.

By this time, all my self-analysis and learning should produce a wise and good person. One who could look back in her life and see more integrity than despair in the final conflict as proposed by Erikson. I will have contact with many intelligent and creative people who can benefit from my experience, while I benefit from seeing them fulfill their potential. My children will have managed to overcome their own "Intimacy vs. Isolation" crisis and be in loving relationships, raising healthy children.

I will not carry grudges nor would I let petty things interfere with my relationships with people. There would be no room for that in my life by then. I will live somewhere where I will have silence and solitude when I need it and yet have the room to entertain company, even if I have to bake cookies to lure them in. I will try to listen to the life stories of those around me and save my own for my personal writings or command performances.

Most of all, I will dedicate my life to creating beauty - beautiful art, beautiful poetry and a beautiful atmosphere around me. I will also cultivate emotional and mental power in my creative works. When my final minutes come to me, I want to be in the middle of a creative endeavor.

Adult Lifespan Journal Entry #3

Social and Psychological Development

Young Adulthood

Based on the theoretical approaches to social development in young adulthood discussed in my text book, I would have to say that I have pretty much failed in the social growth aspect of life. I am hoping that within the next few years I will be able to resolve Erikson's "Intimacy vs. Isolation" crisis. I am not even going to discuss Levinson and Valliant's theories, because I don't even come close to either of them in my opinion.

I did get married in my mid twenties. I wanted someone who I could make a life with. I also wanted a protector and a father for my future children. To say I was feeling lost and alone would have also been true. I was glad to find someone of my own faith, at least superficially, and near my own age who also shown an interest in me. Unfortunately, I ended up marrying a cross between my mother and father, which would have been okay if it had been a mixture of their good qualities. He basically told me what I wanted to hear before we got married and then after a year or two, he emotionally withdrew when I needed his support. This continued until he was actively trying to destroy me emotionally and mentally. I went into therapy, got us into marriage counseling and tried everything I was physically capable of to save our marriage. The only problem is that he didn't want it saved and I had neglected my own health to the point that I couldn't do much. When he began to include the kids in his program of health neglect, I left. He then filed for divorce before I could and jerked everyone around for two years until the courts settled everything.

I got pregnant right away in our marriage and had our second child fourteen months later. My children are one of the greatest joys of my life. They constantly amaze me with their insight and humor. A lot of the difficulties I expected to have with them based on the other families I had observed did not happen. Instead I have to help them to learn how to deal with insane people while retaining their sense of self and sanity. Teaching them about science, literature and other things happens naturally in our family and I often forget the impact of that until my children surprise someone else with their knowledge.

As a parent, I am definitely an authoritative parent. I like my children to develop their own strengths and talents and I try to help them by giving them space to learn within proper boundaries. I let them discuss things with me and occasionally I will make compromises with them, if they have a better idea how to handle something. It doesn't bother me in the least that my son hates sports and my daughter loves them. Though it does bother me that their authoritarian stepmother is telling them that this means that they are going to be homosexual and will want gender changing surgeries when they get older. Luckily, I have plenty of examples to show them that this isn't true, but I may have to take this up with the stepmother if it continues.

My circle of friends is rather limited to those who can either understand my unusual views or don't care about them. Most of my friends are intelligent, creative, trustworthy and solid. Some may not have all four characteristics, but they all have at least two of them. I usually choose my friends on the basis of how they expand my knowledge of the world. Even if I don't agree with them, I do find their insights useful.

Middle Adulthood

Hopefully I will catch up on social development during middle adulthood. Despite my lagging on the "Intimacy vs. Isolation" conflict, I do feel I have made headway on Erikson's "Generativity vs. Stagnation" crisis. I am already expressing generativity in a communal way by nurturing my children and a few others. However, I have made goals which will ensure I will take on more and more of an agentic form as I grow older.

I already see an improvement with my relationship with my parents and in time this should reoccur with my siblings. There had been some improvement there, but then things got sidetracked. I now understand what I need from social interactions and learning ways to achieve my needs. I hope I will eventually find a companion who I can share my life and goals with.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Adult Lifespan Journal Entry #2

Cognitive Development

I research for fun and relaxation. While experiencing clinical depression in my later twenties, I found solace in researching topics like industrial waste treatments, naturally occurring soap in plants, and alternate house building methods, in addition to being introduced to the field of psychoanalysis. Even during the worst part of my depression, I could recall New Testament parables with just a few details given.

Being good in math most of my life, I would plan gardens, waste treatment systems and self-sufficient homesteads down to all the technicalities I could think of. I even wrote down a five year plan to start a natural soap business and even learn how to make my own soaps. Pulling from my knowledge of chemistry, I created a "primer" for people ignorant in the history of alchemy. I taught myself how to make stained glass art and several needlework techniques.

I also developed my creative writing ability by writing poems, short stories and even a couple of novels. Some of the poetry and short stories have be published in other publications, but outside of a poetry book I self-published, I haven't received a dime for my creative works and do them mainly for my own peace of mind. Though I have received some money for my crafts and sewing ability.

I have always been considered above average intelligence. I don't think that it is possible to get a clear picture of my intelligence from the normal tests. I say this because I found after I was able to get my anxiety disorder under control, I found that my mental ability increased noticeably. On average, I had a jump about 30 IQ points according to the tests I did for about six month period. However, my mental abilities vary greatly with my stress levels and physical state.

Five years ago I would have told you the Sternberg's aspect of intelligence I was strongest in was componential intelligence. However, as I have explored and developed more, it has turns out that this is not the case. My strongest Sternberg aspect is actually experiential. I have had this pointed out and confirmed by at least two professionals in the mental health field. Though in my case, it has been compounded according to these same professionals to the fact I use my preconscious mind differently than other people. Whereas most people have a brick wall will gates and occasional windows on the boundary between their conscious and unconscious, I have the equivalent of a rod iron fence between my conscious and unconscious, which allows me to make connections others miss, while still having a definite boundary between the two. Unfortunately, this has become more of a hindrance than a help for me. Because I make connections between several sources, I come across as very strange to most people. When I try to explain the connections that lead to my conclusions, I either lose people or I become agitated and end up sounding insane. My best friend and some other people, however, do have the interest and patience to hear me through and enjoy my insights. I am often correct, but it helps to have people who are patient enough to wade through my explanations, because I can miss something.

This ability to pull from several sources mentally and a permeable boundary between the conscious and subconscious has another side effect. I get overwhelmed easily when I am trying to downshift to relate to others. When I am able to talk to my friend Roberta and a few others who can think fast enough to keep up with me, it is an amazing and heady experience. I wonder if part of my anxiety disorder is due to my inability to verbally explain myself off the cuff.

However, this same ability does make me an excellent one-on-one tutor. When explaining someone else's ideas or concepts, I am capable to find analogies that my pupils can relate to, including my own mother in algebra. Adding to this the knowledge of poetry and historical archetypes, I have been able to help several people to release their own creativity in writing. I plan to use this ability to bring the ability of written creative expression in my future career as well as in the visual arts.

As for my moral development, I have reached a cross between Kolhberg's seventh stage of "Why be moral?" and the second transition of Carol Gilligan's feminine moral system - "going from goodness to truth". My divorce and experiences re-entering the workforce has lead me to this level. I still revert to the lower levels at times and I have never been a physically violent person, but I am not to Gilligan's level three "morality of nonviolence". I still cause harm to myself and sometimes to others using the written word. I have eliminated this in my vocal communications, though.

I'm hoping that I can continue to develop my cognitive abilities and find a way to harness my unique abilities to benefit my life and others. My goals are to create a new medium for therapy and a series of workbooks to help others get in touch with the archetypes inside themselves. I plan to document my thoughts and works as I go, so when I do reach late adulthood, I have enough material to put together a definitive work on human experience. I realize this sounds a bit grandiose, but I think anyone could do the same if they tried to.

And if I don't write this work, at least I won't have to worry so much about forgetting parts of my life. I just need to make sure I set up a good retrieval system for myself. Or I could just leave it to my posterity and let them sort everything out.

Adult Lifespan Journal Entry # 1

From my Adulthood and Aging class:

Physical Development

At age 20, I was at my best physically. I was 160 pounds, which with my body frame actually made me look very nice, despite my shortness. I used to walk a great deal and take stairs instead of elevators most of the time. I ate well and looked good.

I add on extra weight whenever I was subjected to the unwanted attentions of a male who would not take my less than subtle hints to be left alone. I had done this as an adolescent, but had lost that weight in college. When I moved back in with my parents, I began gaining again, because I did not have the peer support I had in college and I suppose it was my way of protecting myself. I did lose the weight again when I moved back out and had a job that required a constant amount of physical activity from me. When I got married and pregnant, my weight was not a problem, but I did have problems taking the weight off because I got pregnant a second time about four months after my first child was born. A few months after my second child was born, I went into clinical depression, which was not connected to post-partem, but due to the stress of a major upheaval and tragedy within my family. I was later determined to have an anxiety disorder.

At that time, I began to develop severe menstrual problems, which were first diagnosed as stress and are now classified as atypical endrometrial dysplasia after a biopsy in April 2004. During age 29, blood was found in my urine, however after two years of testing, my doctors could not find a cause and again gave me the diagnosis of stress. About the same, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Between the fibromyalgia, anxiety and an inability to get proper dental care due to my ex-husband's mistrust of dentist, I ended up having dentures at age 36. My fibromyalgia did disappear for a few months between the time I left my exhusband and the time I had to deal with him again because of the divorce proceedings.

During most of my early thirties, I had constant bronchitis and chest infections due to a lack proper rest and medical care. I became so bad at one point that the nurse threatened my then husband that if he did not help with the house and kids and let me have two weeks of total bed rest, that she personally would put me into the hospital. Many of my chest problems began to lessen once I was divorced, but it wasn't until I had sinus surgery to remove two very large cysts that the chest infections stopped all together. Now I just get sinus infections.

As for my sight and hearing, neither has change significantly since I was age 19. I have developed more skills with my hands, though my body in general has declined in all around fitness due to gross inactivity on my part and depression. I am no longer able to read as fast as I did as a teenager. While I do have problems with physical activity most of the time, I have noticed that I am not as bad when I am visiting old friends. It is as if I have returned to a younger age. This may be due to the stresses I have in my life being a single mother, dealing with my aging parents regularly and dealing with a very dysfunctional workplace.

As for how I see my health progressing into my middle adult years, I am hoping that with the reduction of work stress and having a goal to go for, that I will be able to reverse some of the ill health I am currently experiencing. I have been making more of an effort to eat better and to increase my physical activity. I am also trying to be more social outside of the work environment. Over a year ago, I visited some old friends during the Fourth of July and was amazed to see how my physical endurance improved while I was with them.

If I can reverse the stress and lose weight, then the affects of aging I will still have to contend with is some changes in visual ability (reading speed, night vision, etc.) and hearing. It is very possible that I may have to have a hysterectomy before I reach menopause on my own. In either case, I will have a period of hormone imbalance to contend with. However, this is not something new for me.

In my later adult years, it is very possible that I will not be able to live alone because of limitations in movement. Based on family medical history, I will have to be most careful of pneumonia and other lung infections. But if I can stay active, it is quite possible that I will live into my nineties. My great-grandmother made it to age 104 on pure attitude. I hope I can do the same.

Now opened for business


Here I am Cosmic Siren. Other places, I have other names, which some of the visitors to here know me by. Please stick to Cosmic Siren on here. You probably already know why.

Here's something to jusify the name:

just imagining an atom
pulsating slowly with power waves
then increasing to the long-wave radio frequencies
broadcasting its desire into the short-wave range
until it is too steamy for television waves
entering into microwaves
before vibrating into heat waves
next its photons jump a level
to release the passionate energy of red
then dancing throught the rest of the visual spectrum
until finally the photons fling themselves
free of the atomic restraints into the ultraviolet
and the atom begins to disintergrate
into revealing x-rays
unleasing the gamma beast inside
before soaring to comsic heights